Latrobe Local News:
School crossing supervisors back on the job
School crossing supervisors assisted children returning to school on Wednesday.
By Latrobe City Council - 31st January 2001 - Back to News
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Forty-eight school crossing supervisors employed by Latrobe City Council assisted the thousands of children returning to school on Wednesday.
In Wirraway Street Moe, school crossing supervisor Joyce Stephens, was on the job at a little after 8am at the Wirraway Street South school crossing, saying she was looking forward to her duties throughout the school year ahead.
As an indication of the respect in which Mrs Stephens is held, Lowanna students Boyd and Jarod, and South Street student Kirsten, had been waiting at the front gate of her home, to help carry the all important flags and stop bat (lollypop sign) to the school crossing.
Mrs Stephens appeared excited at the prospect of her twenty third year as a school crossing supervisor. “I’m really looking forward to hearing what the children got for Christmas, and about new girlfriends and boyfriends. The kids tell me lots of secrets and I enjoy their confidence,” Mrs Stephens revealed.
“I’ll stay on the job until I’ve done at least twenty-five years, and who knows after that,” Mrs Stephens added
As a group of children approached the crossing, Mrs Stephens greeted them all by name. She waited half a minute to allow a couple of children turning the nearby corner to catch up with the rest before stepping onto the road with her stop bat to let them all cross in safety. The quick chat to the waiting children obviously pleased her. “Have a great day,” she called out as they crossed.
When an approaching car became visible on a nearby rise and appeared to be moving fast, Mrs Stephens looked concerned. “Sometimes it’s like a racetrack here. Some people simply drive too fast. I’m not sure if the speed limit here is sixty kilometres per hour or the new fifty. Either way it’s too fast to be travelling at that speed when children are obviously on their way to school. Motorists need to slow down near school crossings,” Mrs Stephens said.
Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Tony Hanning, embraced Mrs Stephens’ words.
“School crossings, especially those which are not supervised are potential danger spots. Drivers must approach these crossings with care, and learn to slow down in the anticipation that students may be crossing or about to cross,” Cr Hanning said.
“Lots of children have received new bicycles for Christmas, and at this early stage of the school year may not have established a safe pattern of riding to school, and may have overlooked some of the hazards. As motorists, we all have to take extra care and responsibility at this time of year to anticipate when and where a danger may emerge and drive accordingly.
“It is also important that parents dropping off or collecting their own children from school, park legally, and don’t obstruct the vision of other motorists, children and school crossing supervisors, thus creating a hazard for their own children and others.
“The new fifty kilometre per hour limit on residential roads introduced by the State Government will go part of the way towards calming traffic near schools, but many school crossings are located on roads that are also significant traffic routes, and these often have a sixty kilometre per hour speed limit,” Cr Hanning said.
“Whatever the statutory speed limit, drivers need to realise that when they approach a crossing, they must lower their speed from that limit, to one that is safe in the circumstances.
“Council is concerned about a number of traffic issues relating to roads where there are school crossings and is currently having a report prepared that will look at various options for school-time based speed zones on Latrobe City’s roads,” Cr Hanning added.
“In due course we will examine the report and make recommendations to VicRoads and the State Government which will be aimed at making Latrobe safer for all citizens,” Cr Hanning concluded.
Photo: School Crossing Supervisor Joyce Stephens assists a group of children across Wirraway Street, Moe.
Cr. Tony Hanning, Mayor, Latrobe City
tel. 0417 373 577
Cr. Brendan Jenkins, Deputy Mayor, Latrobe City
tel. 0417 374 590
Ms. Penny Holloway, Chief Executive Officer,
tel. 5173 1401 or 0417 557 103
Jeremy Bein, Public Relations and Communications Officer
tel. 5173 1468
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